faith, freedom, food

Tag: #healthy

A Sermon That Utterly Changed Me

A Sermon That Utterly Changed Me

This met me in my brokenness, in my deepest questioning, and in confusion, with hard Truth that I needed to hear. Take the time to sit with this and listen. Take notes. Let God speak to you through it. I promise it will be a […]

Multiple Streams of Income: How I’ve Managed Freelancing

Multiple Streams of Income: How I’ve Managed Freelancing

Good Wednesday! It’s been a while since I’ve had even a moment to update you here, but today I am finally able to sit down and write a bit about something that has been on my heart to share for some time: Multiple Streams of […]

Alexa, Play “Yellow” by Coldplay

Alexa, Play “Yellow” by Coldplay

Looking back, it was one of those mornings in which I debated my outfit.

Dress up or dress down? Was the work I had to do today conducive to feeling put together and stylish, or did comfort trump all?

Yes, for some reason, I think about these things.

I settled on a yellow floral dress– not like I can wear it for much longer– and long cardigan before heading out the door and to the office in downtown Kitchener.

Working at Him & Her the past month or so has been one of the greatest joys in this season. The encouragement of my colleagues and superiors, the diverse array of projects I get to work on and witness, and the opportunity to grow as a writer while providing meaningful service have been unmatched.

For the first few hours of work this morning, it seemed someone was always moving. Standing from their desk for a meeting or a call or to grab a coffee, so that there was no one time in which the three of us who sit in a row were seated together simultaneously.

Until that moment that we were… and we collectively realized this:

Name ideas included Three Turmeric Mice, The Yellow Squad, and Team Yellow. I simply suggested that we had each planned in our hearts to bring sunshine to the gloomy Monday at Him & Her.

And this conclusion, as cheesy as you may call it, served as an incredible reminder for me. A reminder that supplemented my pastor’s message yesterday at church, which was about power and authority being God’s, and therefore being GOOD.

In Christ, I have the power to view any and every situation as one that He can be glorified in.

Even on a rainy Monday, I will not complain.

I’m not usually one to struggle with complaining. In fact, seeing the positives in bleak-looking situations is a gift I believe God has empowered me for. But I have been very convicted just the past couple of days in the attitude I have had since moving back in with my parents.

We’ve heard it before: moving back home after living on your own for a season is tough. You’re used to complete independence and, if you’re like me, grocery shopping and was a favourite part of the week that you no longer have to partake in.

So, as much as it’s a difficult transition, it’s also one to be very ungrateful in.

I think a lot about how crazy it is that we are usually our worst selves with our family. This is a good thing in some ways, I suppose, in that it shows our level of comfort and knowledge that we are unconditionally loved when we’re with our families. My parents have often said that they want me to know I can tell them ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, and the answer will never be judgemental, and will always be loving.

But… I think this can easily turn into a similar dangerous mindset we might have about our Heavenly Father.

He’s already victorious over sin, and He’s all-forgiving. I know that if I sin in this way, and repent later, He’ll forgive me… so, I’ll just (*insert secret-sin here*) one more time.

Today’s bright yellow colours and sunshiney laughter with my co-workers served as a reminder that the grace I am saved by is one that empowers me to see even the toughest situations with nothing but excited expectation, joy, and hope.

It’s not that living at home has been a drag– just an adjustment. Which gives me no right to take advantage, or be grumbling, or have ungratefulness in my heart or actions.

So, an open letter to my wonderful mom and dad: I am sorry if you have felt any of this. You love me so well, and with open arms. I hope you know how sincerely grateful I am that you care to have me near you.

What situation could you use The Yellow Squad to remind you to be a bit more grateful in?

Me At 10 Years vs. Me in 10 Years

Me At 10 Years vs. Me in 10 Years

A couple weeks ago, I came across an exercise online that someone had shared had really shifted their thinking. The person relented that they wanted to know what their 10-year-old self, AND their self IN 10 years, would think of the way their present self […]

Blackberry Crumble

Blackberry Crumble

In case you didn’t know, I tasted the most amazing food in the world a couple weeks ago. An avid foodie– and, more importantly, an avid peanut butter lover– I was so intrigued when I first noticed Salted Caramel Peanut Butter (sugar free, whole foods, […]

3 Engaged Girls, One House

3 Engaged Girls, One House

It is only just hitting me that in a matter of weeks, the girls I have lived with for the past three years and I will never live together again.

In fact, each of us will be transitioning to living with– a man— for the rest of our lives.

Yes– my university living experience was probably not like most, particularly at my secular school in southwestern Ontario, Wilfrid Laurier. I met Maddie and Mary in my first year of university, as they were colleagues in my smaaaalll program, Christian Studies. We hit it off instantly as friends, and soon became as close as sisters.

From left to right: Maddie, me, Autumn, Beth, and Mary.

We found a student apartment to live in together in second year with two other girls. Pictured above is our third-year crew, all of us having met in Christian Studies classes. ALL of the girls in this photo are engaged now, with the exception of Beth, who was married to her hubby in August 2018, a wedding we were so honoured to attend.

Now, these girls make up my bridal party… and I make up theirs. Mary marries her man in October, Johnny & I in January, and Maddie in June 2020. Our men proposed months apart, but many of the preparations for the weddings have taken place in our little student living situation. With either a bridesmaid dress or a wedding gift or a decor piece arriving to the front porch seemingly every week, it’s no wonder people have asked me what it’s like to “share the spotlight” with my best friends in the same house.

And here’s the answer: I wouldn’t have it any other way, because the only spotlight in these relationships is on Jesus Christ.

I feel blessed beyond words, in fact, that I have had the opportunity to live with these two women who know that their weddings are about the lifelong marriage and not the day itself. Who have hearts that want their relationships to reflect and glorify God rather than lift up themselves. And it is because of these very mindsets, the very presence of God, that we have approached each other, and being in each other’s wedding parties while also being brides, with nothing but love, grace, equality, compassion, and joy.

Also pictured here is Bethany, another one of my bridesmaids and beautiful friend from Christian Studies.

HE is why it’s been nothing but fun. HE is why I have been able to give being a bridesmaid, maid of honour, and bride– all at once, and while LIVING with the girls– the attention each role deserves. HE is the reason for it all, and to Him I give all the glory.

And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.


Childhood Chicken Fried Rice

Childhood Chicken Fried Rice

Raise your hand if you were a picky eater as a kid. (I’m raising my hand). I was the PICKIEST of the picky. I could count the number of foods I was happy eating on both hands (well, both hands if you’ll allow me to […]

Curated KW: Interviewing the Girls Behind the Gram

Curated KW: Interviewing the Girls Behind the Gram

When I first stumbled upon Curated KW, I was so intrigued. Quite honestly, I wanted to WORK for the business, be a part of it in some way. I assumed, given the obvious effort and passion displayed in this initiative to help Waterloo Regioners understand […]

Stephanie Buttermore’s “All In” Journey: Why I am a Huge Fan of the Fitness YouTuber Eating 5000+ Calories per Day

Stephanie Buttermore’s “All In” Journey: Why I am a Huge Fan of the Fitness YouTuber Eating 5000+ Calories per Day

I knew I was a fan of Stephanie Buttermore the first time I ever watched one of her videos. Not only was it clear that she was a kind person, but it was clear that she was an all in kind of person.

I have a massive appreciation for the art of video editing, and Stephanie takes this to another level. Each one of her videos is crafted in such an accessible, viewer-friendly manner, and her speaking voice has such a pleasing ring to it. She doesn’t have hundreds of videos as many fitness YouTubers of her career length do, but it’s because each and every video is crafted with such intense excellence. All-in excellence.

Stephanie demonstrates this all in attitude in each one of her workout routines too. She doesn’t go half-in on anything she does– or at least, anything she puts out within her business. Her mindset is reflected in everything from her beautiful merchandise to her truly informative videos, ones I always learn a lot from in a concise manner.

So, when Stephanie announced that she was going “All In,” which for her meant eating about 5000 calories every single day (not counting them or measuring food or anything, but eating this amount because it’s been what she’s been hungry for), I wasn’t surprised, but was incredibly excited.

Stephanie explains the reasons behind her “All In” Journey more succinctly than I could, but, essentially, the diets and methods of eating that had previously consumed her way of eating have put her body in an energy deficit that has caused severe mental, physical, and emotional hunger. It also caused her to lose her period.

While it is easy for a person in this situation to believe that most of the hunger they feel is mental or emotional, leading them to believe that they should not consume food to the point of full satiety due to fear of weight gain, research proves that the physical hunger is likely the reason for the mental and emotional hunger in patients who have lost their period, or restricted food for long periods of time. Even if the person didn’t have an eating disorder, or wasn’t eating a “crazily” low amount of calories, but still actively restricted certain food groups, labelled certain foods as “off-limits,” or forced themselves to stop eating before full satiety, an energy deficit is present. The physical repercussions are very dangerous.

Stephanie is very popular on YouTube for her “Cheat Day” videos, in which she eats “everything she wants” in a day, which usually ends up amounting to something around 10,000 calories. She always emphasizes that she never eats past the point of discomfort– but, for most people with average appetites, this amount of food would likely be past that point. This is just one sign pointing to Stephanie’s energy deficit.

From Stephanie’s Instagram
And quotes from her boyfriend, also a fitness expert

Steph’s recent “All In” recap video has seen over one million views, and gained a lot of interest in the media.

Now, here is why I love what Stephanie is doing.

She has not let her former platform sway her from doing what she believes is right (even when it’s hard). Going from bikini-competitor leanness to gaining 30 plus pounds in a couple months in front of a large following could not have been easy, but Steph didn’t let that stop her from doing what she knew was right. In fact, showcasing this change, including ups and downs with body image and her mood, has been something she hasn’t shied away from. All that she has shared as been real and raw, and I have seen countless followers take insight from her story. She has helped people in the trenches of anorexia find motivation to recover. She has given people who have yo-yo dieted for years a vocabulary for understanding their hunger. She has put her health and wellness– mental and physical– above her aesthetic.

She has not positioned herself in any “niche”– she’s just a relatable human with incredible credentials. Boasting a B.A., M.S., and Ph.D., in medical sciences, biology, and more, Stephanie went from being a unique member of the fitness community as a passionate foodie, to simply going on the journey that was right for her in this time– and sharing it for the benefit of many. She isn’t in the “recovering from an eating disorder” niche, necessarily, which only makes her content more accessible, and might help someone in a similar position recognize that, just because they’re not dealing with an eating disorder doesn’t mean they don’t need to go “all in” simply because of restriction or dieting, two things society has convinced us are “normal.” Or maybe, like Steph, they’ve never fully recovered from an eating disorder, or given it the “all in” attitude it deserves.

She is eliminating the “cheat day” mindset, making a statement about the reality of our society’s skewed relationships with food. Many people in the fitness industry promote food restriction coupled with massive “cheat days.” Others promote fad diets, obsessive macro counting, labelling foods, etc. But, here is my question (and the common question of another of my favourite YouTubers): was obesity a thing before the billion-dollar weight loss industry was?

We all have naturally different appetites based on genetics, activity level, hormones, etc., and simply living according to these (not obsessively “intuitively eating” according to the trend of it, but just eating, a concept that is difficult to understand for many who have been rewired by the weight loss industry for years) is, wow, the best possible key to our health. It doesn’t make a weight loss guru any money, though.

I have worked in “healthy food” environments selling great products and with great menus with employees who, without even thinking about it, would write “Cheat Day Choices” on top of our baked good selections. Whether we realized it or not, much of our culture has been influenced into thinking that this is normal.

I underwent an incredible journey to healing in which I radically discovered just how amazing my body and mind are at knowing what they want and need. I also went through an “all in” journey in which I was eating at least 3000 calories a day just to feel somewhat satisfied.

If you relate to any of this content, or have any questions, feel free to reach out to me as a friend or helping hand.

Has “diet culture” influenced you in any way? Has this article debunked any of that for you? Let me know in the comments below.

NutriBullet Apple Cauliflower Soup

NutriBullet Apple Cauliflower Soup

Are you a soup person? I’ve never been much of one myself. Growing up, I did love Nestle Chicken Noodle, and my mom’s homemade chilli was to die for. But creamy, one-colour purees? Is that baby food or potato chowder, ya know what I’m saying? […]